Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weighed in the Balance

Outtake Three: Valentine and Luke.
In the orginal first draft of Glass, after the Angel brings Jace back to life, Clary and Jace were met at the lakeside by Alec, Isabelle, Jocelyn and Luke, who have come from the battle to join them. This was changed because in the original draft there was no epilogue; so this was all the closure the characters had. I decided an epilogue was necessary to bring them more, and resolve some of what wasn’t resolved — Magnus and Alec, Jocelyn and Luke’s relationships, for instance. The one thing I was a bit sad to lose was that in the first draft, Valentine had someone to be sorry that he died — in the final version, besides Jace, there really isn’t any mention of it.
There were figures racing down the beach toward them, their shadows made ungainly and long by the still-shining glow of the witchlight torches. Clary was glad for the torches now, glad if the glow made her and Jace easier to find. She recognized the running figures as they drew closer — her mother and Luke, and behind them Alec, and Isabelle. Her heart swelled hugely at the sight of them, as if it would crack her ribs apart. She felt as if she were bursting with relief.
It was Luke who reached them first, running along the sand as lightly as if he were still in wolf form. He saw Clary and Jace first and his face lit — and then his gaze went past them, and he saw Valentine, and his face changed.
Jocelyn was just behind him, and as she neared, Jace let go of Clary. She stood up, brushing sand from her clothes, just as her mother reached her and swept her into a hug. After her came Alec and Isabelle, full of exclamations and relief and — joy. They surrounded a shell-shocked-looking Jace, hugging him and shouting in his ears.
Only Luke was silent. Clary, her hand in her mother’s, turned to watch him. He had approached Valentine’s body and was looking down at it, his face a study in conflicting emotions — there was relief there, but also regret and even sorrow. In death, Valentine’s face had lost its hardness and for the first time Clary saw what her mother had once been drawn to about him, saw how he might have seemed gentle and even kind. As Luke knelt down beside his corpse, Clary couldn’t help but remember what he had said about having loved Valentine once, about having been his closest friend. Luke, she thought with a pang. Surely he couldn’t be sad — or even grieved?
But then again, perhaps everyone should have someone to grieve for them, and there was no one else to grieve for Valentine.
Luke knelt where he was for a long moment. At last he reached out and with a gentle hand, closed Valentine’s eyes.
“Ave atque vale, Shadowhunter,” he said.


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